C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Chaos at MC General House
Oppn walks out as Mayor appreciates Bansal; House suspended for 40 minutes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Chaos prevailed at the Municipal Corporation General House meeting after the City Mayor, during his speech, started praising local Member of Parliament (MP) Pawan Kumar Bansal, leading to the Opposition’s boycott. The BJP, SAD, BSP and an Independent councillor boycotted the meeting.

The Mayor, HC Kalyan, in his speech appreciated the efforts of Bansal, for projecting Chandigarh at the national level as the City Beautiful, industrial hub and for not letting MC face any financial problem in executing development works.

The statement received criticism from the Opposition councillors, who stated that the works done by the MP had no relevance to the budget speech.

Arun Sood, BJP Councillor and Leader of Opposition, stated that if the Mayor wanted to mention the MP’s name then the Mayor should have also quoted the controversies surrounding him. “If the Mayor could appreciate the MP’s work then he should have also appreciated the works done by MC officials and their team in the city”, Sood said in the House.

Despite interruption by the Opposition, the Mayor continued with his three-page speech. On seeing that their protest on the subject had failed to deter the Mayor from reading out his speech, the councillors finally staged a walkout and decided not to attend his budget speech.

The councillors also raised slogans against the Mayor outside the hall.

After 10 minutes of the protest, the councillors returned and demanded that the MP’s name be removed, however the Mayor turned down their demand.

On witnessing heated arguments on the subject, the Mayor decided to suspend the House for some time. 

Councillors lacked seriousness

The seriousness of the Mayor and councillors towards the Annual Budget that requires detailed discussion can be gauged from the fact that the meeting which was supposed to begin at 11 am started at 11.25 am. Even before the discussion on the budget could start, the House was suspended at 12 noon for around 40 minutes. 

SAD councillor leaves venue, but returns later

SAD councillor Harjinder Kaur expressed her disappointment over the delay in starting the MC House meeting, by leaving the venue. Kaur, who left at around 11.20 am, said that time was precious, but she returned later at 1 pm. 



Municipal Corpn approves Rs 792 cr budget for next fiscal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The General House of the Municipal Corporation (MC) today approved the Budget of around Rs 792 crore for the fiscal 2014-15.

While Rs 345.70 crores have been reserved under the Plan head, Rs 446.53 crores have been allocated under the non-Plan head. Under the Plan head, the UT Administration has earmarked Rs 136.60 crore for the MC. However, the civic body will bear the remaining expenditure under the head using the revenue it will be generating during the next fiscal.

During the discussion on the Budget today, Congress councillor Satish Kainth demanded a Special Component Plan (SCP) fund for the Scheduled Castes (SC) residing in the five wards that were reserved for SC candidates during the last MC polls. BJP councillors Arun Sood and Rajinder Kaur said the entire SC population of Chandigarh should get the benefit of the SCP fund.

Following the discussion, MC Commissioner VP Singh decided that the head ‘Basic Amenities for Economic Weaker Section (EWS)’, which had a provision of Rs 17 crore, would have an additional Rs 8 crore for the SC and ST population.

Nominated councillor Major DS Sandhu (retd) said before presenting a Budget in the House, the MC should present an action taken report of the works undertaken or completed during the previous year. “Soon after the Mayor’s election, the councillors should get a report on the status of projects and decisions taken by the House during the last year,” he said.

During deliberations on the Budget, BJP councillor Arun Sood demanded that the MC should discuss the Budget latest by the first week of February so that it could be sent to the UT Administration for consideration. “While the MC had drafted the Plan budget of Rs 334.40 crore, the UT Administration earmarked only Rs 136.60 crore and that too, before the Budget could be sent to it for consideration,” Sood said.

* While Rs 345.70 crores have been reserved under the Plan head, Rs 446.53 crores have been allocated under the non-Plan head.

* Under the Plan head, the UT Administration has earmarked Rs 136.60 crore for the MC. 

* However, the civic body will bear the remaining expenditure under the head using the revenue it will be generating during the next fiscal.



Chandigarh votes 2014
City units of Cong, BJP, AAP a divided house
Leaders work separately to get party ticket
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
While the Lok Sabha elections are around the corner, the city units of the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are a divided house. Eyeing ticket for the Chandigarh seat, various leaders are working “separately” for their respective parties.

BJP’s city unit president Sanjay Tandon, former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan and former MP Satya Pal Jain are actively working separately for the party. The three senior leaders are organising separate functions, campaigns, meetings etc without intimating each other. To ensure party ticket, they are also lobbying to impress the party’s top leadership. These leaders have even set up separate media cells.

The situation in the Congress is no different. Though party leaders are backing former union railways minister and sitting Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal so that he gets the ticket for the Chandigarh seat, resentment prevails among some senior leaders. Besides Bansal, five other leaders had applied for the Congress ticket. However, only former deputy mayor HS Lucky has withdrawn his candidature in favour of Bansal. Four other leaders are still in the race for the party ticket.

Most Congress leaders in the city had skipped two functions held recently - a tea party organised in Sector 20 and the inauguration of a community centre in Mauli Jagran. In Sector 20, Pawan Kumar Bansal was the chief guest while only two Congress councillors accompanied Congress Mayor Harphool Kalyan in Mauli Jagran.

AAP volunteers are working separately too. The fact that the party is yet to form its city unit speaks volumes about the differences among the AAP workers. Interestingly, there are 250 aspirants for the party’s ticket for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat and most of them have set up their own media cells. 

Special camp for Colony No. 5 voters

To search 'missing' 10,000 voters of Colony No. 5, which was recently demolished by the Administration, the UT Election Department will set up a special camp from February 21 to 28.

There were 17,000 registered voters in the colony and around 7,000 got fresh voter cards made during a camp held in Dhanas. The uprooted residents of the colony were shifted to a slum rehabilitation colony in Dhanas. Now, the Election Department will set up a special camp at the vacant site of the colony to facilitate those who were earlier registered as voters of Colony No. 5 but have now shifted to other parts of the city.

The department also sought support of political parties in tracing these 'missing' 10,000 voters.

Telangana Bill: Cong flayed

BSP Lok Sabha candidate Jannat Jahan Ul Haq strongly opposed the method in which the Telangana Bill was passed in the Parliament. Jannat said it was not the right way of presenting a Bill in the Parliament. Jannat alleged that the Congress was now resorting to wrong ways to cling to the power. — TNS

Only BSP declared its candidate so far

In Chandigarh, the BSP is the only major party keeping a united face. The party has already declared Jannat Jahan Ul Haq as its candidate for the Lok Sabha elections. The BSP has also set up its ward-level committees for the polls.



Punjab, Haryana fail to pay PGI bed charges of Rs 8 cr 
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Governments of Punjab and Haryana have failed to clear the annual bed charges of the city’s premier healthcare institute - the PGIMER - for nearly five years. The outstanding amount has risen to Rs 8 crore.

“We have been running into losses and have sent several reminders to the two state governments for clearing the debt, but they have not sent replies to date”, said a PGIMER official.

The governments owe Rs 8 crore to the PGIMER on account of the annual bed charges. The PGIMER waives the cost of admission to the government employees of Punjab and Haryana, but the governments are supposed to pay the annual bed cost to the institution.

In its audit report for 2011-12, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had calculated the debt at Rs 462.72 lakh, which escalated to Rs 7.24 crore last year and has reached Rs 8 crore, now.

After Punjab was reorganised in 1966, the Ministry of Health and Family Planning had decided that Punjab and Haryana would pay the cost of 120 and 80 beds, respectively, to the PGIMER. The annual bed cost was fixed at Rs 5,800. It was revised to Rs 64,500 in 1990.

The governing body of the PGIMER had revised the per bed rate per annum from Rs 11,600 to Rs 64,500 in 1990.

The rates, however, have not been revised since then.

The PGIMER has a total of 2,000 beds. Of these, the cost of 200 is to be paid by the two governments for the treatment of their employees posted in Chandigarh. The PGIMER does not charge money from indoor patients who are employees of the Punjab and Haryana governments.

Both states owe Rs 254 cr to GMSH-16

Punjab and Haryana also owe Rs 254 crore to Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, as they have failed to contribute to the expenditure for running the hospital ever since Punjab was reorganised and the Punjab Reorganisation Act was implemented in 1966.



Cops rescue Kharar-based realtor from kidnappers, 4 held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Within five hours after a Kharar-based realtor Gurmail Singh was allegedly kidnapped for ransom, the UT police managed to solve the case and recover the victim from the clutches of the accused.

Four persons, including two women, have been arrested in the case registered at the Sector 34 police station.

The police received a complaint from Surjit Singh who informed that his brother Gurmail Singh was allegedly kidnapped by some persons who were known to him. Surjit told the police that Rohit, a resident of Sector 51, had picked up his brother and had then called him up and asked for a ransom of Rs10 lakh.

Acting on the complaint of Surjit Singh, the police registered a case of kidnapping for ransom (364-A) and criminal conspiracy (120-B) of the IPC at the Sector 34 police station and began investigations.

Surjit called up the police at 10.30 pm that he had delivered Rs1.5 lakh to the kidnapper at light point of Sectors 50 and 51. Surjit added that Rohit walked down to the light point to take the money from him.

Following the complaint, the police tracked the tower location of the accused and Gurmail Singh who had been kidnapped. The police was able to track down the victim and the kidnappers at House Number 130 in Sector 51.

The police said Gurmail and Rohit were known to each other for last few years. Gurmail and Rohit had met in Patiala jail, when both of them were lodged for separate offences, about two years ago. Even after coming out of the jail, the friendship continued and Rohit knew Gurmail had good money. Rohit along with another friend Rashid, working as a taxi driver planned the kidnapping to make easy money.

Rohit called Gurmail to his house in Sector 51 on Tuesday evening and asked for Rs 10 lakh before threatening to get him booked in a false rape case. When Gurmail did not agree, Rohit kidnapped Gurmail and called up his brother and asked for Rs 10 lakh. The police arrested the accused at about 2 am.

Rohit Kumar acted as a middleman for property deals. His associate Rashid works a driver and stays at, Sector 16, Chandigarh. Two women, Harman and Tanya, present in the house were also arrested by the police. The sources in the police said both were friends of Rohit and Rashid. The police have recovered the ransom amount and further investigations into the case are on.



Stray dogs kill 61 sheep, goats
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 19
As many as 61 sheep and goats were killed in the wee hours today after being attacked by a pack of stray dogs in an enclosure located on the outskirts of Manuali village here.

The owner of the livestock, Krishan Kumar, gave a complaint at the Sohana police station this evening, following which a team led by District Forest Officer (DFO) Balbir Singh visited the spot to determine whether the sheep and goats were attacked by any wild animal.

The complainant said the incident took place at 1.30am and he immediately left the place to save himself. He later found that 49 sheep and 12 goats were killed in the attack.

“No pug marks were found in and around the area. It seems the stray dogs attacked the livestalk,” said DFO Balbir Singh.

He said that a team of veterinary doctors also reached the enclosure to check the well-being of the remaining livestock. Krishan Kumar told the police that he suffered a loss of Rs 3 lakh. He had been rearing the sheep and goats for the past couple of years. The police said that villagers in the area complained that the stray dogs in the area were a nuisance.

The DFO visited the spot to determine the possibility of the attack by any wild animal. 



Dictatorial clause of reserving 50 seats pinches organisers of events at Tagore Theatre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Residents have objected to the three-year-old dictatorial clause of reserving 50 seats by the organisers of events for the management of the Tagore Theatre that include the top brass of the Chandigarh Administration.

Using the clause to its advantage, the management of the theatre that includes the top brass of the Chandigarh Administration has made its mandatory for those booking the theatre to reserve 50 seats in the three premier rows (C, D and E) for a list of VIPs, including senior UT officials.

On the other hand, the organisers of the events lament that most of the times the passes sought in the name of the management of the theatre are passed on to others as senior UT officials are seldom seen at the functions. The events attracting a large audience are exception wherein officials of the UT, Punjab and Haryana can be seen occupying the reserved seats.

Under the clause, six per cent of the total 837 seats are reserved for the VIPs or the management of the theatre.

Questioning the authoritarian clause, Zulikar Khan of Theatre Age said the reserving seats made sense when the theatre management was sponsoring the events or allowing free use of the premises. “But asking some one to give passes after charging the rent for the theatre is not right “, he added.

Kuldeep Sharma, Director of Tagore Theatre, said the decision had been taken by the management of the theatre and it had been been there even before he joined as the Director.

Terming the decision as not acceptable, Sanjivan Singh of Sarghi Kala Kendra, said it was not acceptable as the organisers pay form the event.



Raid on Joshi Auto Zone premises

Chandigarh, February 19
Suspecting evasion of value added tax (VAT) during stock transfer, sleuths of the UT Excise and Taxation Department raided the premises of Joshi Auto Zone and Joshi Auto Motive in Industrial Area, Phase II, here, this evening.

The dealers are dealing in Mercedes and Honda vehicles. UT Excise Commissioner Mohammed Shayin said the record of the dealers was being verified for the evasion of duty. Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner RC Bhalla said stocks of the last few years were being analysed and exact evasion was being worked out. —TNS


LPG auto-rickshaw operators go on strike
Protest against non-implementation of UT Admn’s decision of phasing out diesel-run auto-rickshaws
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Seeking phasing out of diesel-run auto-rickshaws in the city and non-implementation of the Chandigarh Administration's 2009 decision in this regard, the Tricity LPG Auto Union observed strike at the Sector 34 ground here today.

They also blocked vehicular traffic in protest. However, the Chandigarh Police foiled their bid to hold a march towards the Governor's House.

Surinder Bhardhwaj, city president of the JD(U) and chairman of the Tricity LPG Auto Union, said in 2009 , the Chandigarh Administration had decided to phase out diesel-run auto-rickshaws and started issuing LPG auto permits. A total of 3,000 permits were given then.

The decision notwithstanding, 14,000 diesel auto-rickshaws continue to ply on the city roads in connivance of the Chandigarh Traffic Police and the State Transport Authority, Bhardwaj alleged. He accused local Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal of giving tacit support to those diesel auto-rickshaw operators.

The union demanded that diesel autos should be phased out at the earliest and necessary action should be taken against the violators. Besides, more LPG auto permits should be provided, auto-rickshaw stands should be set up and unnecessary harassment to auto-drivers at the hands of the Chandigarh Traffic Police should be stopped.

LPG auto-rickshaw operators vowed to continue their stir till their demands were accepted.



Absconding couple declared POs

Chandigarh, February 19
A local court has declared the owners of Mitaflex Immigrations, Chandigarh, as proclaimed offenders (POs).

Hari Mohan Sharma and his wife Shilpa, the owners of Mitaflex Immigrations, are learnt to have fled abroad. The company is a sister concern of Healthyway Immigrations, whose owner Amit Kakkar is already facing cases of fraud registered by the UT police in 2011. Shilpa is Kakkar's sister.

As per the case registered at the Sector 36 police station in 2011, Hari Mohan and Shilpa duped around 40 persons of Rs 65 lakh on the promise of sending them abroad on tourist visa. The couple is absconding ever since the case was registered. Then, the court had issued warrants against them. But since they failed to appear before it, the court declared them POs. — TNS



Selvel gets contract at new rate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
After over two hours of discussion, the General House of the Municipal Corporation (MC) today gave a go ahead to the controversial allotment of contract for maintenance of toilets in the city to Selvel Media Service.

The Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) of the MC had allotted the contract to the Selvel at the cost of Rs 17,303 per toilet per month with an annual increase of 10 per cent. However, councillors objected to it as the monthly maintenance cost of a toilet was Rs 12,000 when the earlier contract, which was given to the same company, expired.

Today, the MC House approved allotment of the work of maintenance of public toilets at the cost of Rs 12,808 per toilet per month with an annual increase of 10 per cent. Earlier, the BJP and BSP councillors, except for one, opposed the allotment of the work to the Selvel, Congress councillors and seven nominated councillors, who were present in the House, decided to go with the decision of the F&CC.

Voting was held wherein 13 councillors, including the Mayor, favoured the allotment of work to the company while nine councillors opposed it.

In 2007, the company was awarded a five-year contract to maintain 86 toilets in the city at the cost of Rs 8,000 per toilet per month with an annual increase of 10 per cent. The amount grew to Rs 12,000 per month by the time the contract expired. 



Guv visits armed forces institute in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Shivraj V Patil, Governor of Punjab, and Administrator of Chandigarh, made his maiden visit to Maharaja Ranjit Singh Armed Forces Preparatory Institute (AFPI) in Mohali today.

The Governor was briefed by the institute’s director, Maj-Gen BS Grewal (retd), on the training infrastructure, facilities, faculty and the results achieved by the AFPI in the past two years.

He said out of the 50 cadets, who appeared for the written entrance exam for the National Defence Academy (NDA), 35 cleared it. Of them, 22 had been recommended by the Service Selection Boards for induction into the NDA. The Governor interacted with the cadets who would be joining the NDA.

While addressing the cadets, he expressed happiness over their performance and said the armed forces continued to be one of the best career options for the youth.

He said the youth should endeavour to join the forces and contribute their best and be prepared to make sacrifices for the nation in the need of the hour. 



Concealing bad habits can be harmful during anaesthesia, say experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Concealing unhealthy practices like smoking, drinking and health problems had emerged a major problem in youngsters coming for pre-anaesthesia check-up ahead of surgeries, said experts at the PGIMER.

"When patients do not inform anaesthesia experts properly about their practice of smoking or medication due to other health problems, they are at risk of adverse effects. This elevates myths among patients in general on anaesthesia," said the experts from the PGIMER’s Department of Anaesthesia while addressing mediapersons here today.

“We have been running a pre-anaesthesia clinic where patients are examined by anaesthesiologist to assess their fitness for surgical procedures. Clinical examination, laboratory tests and X-rays are examined and, if further optimisation is required, they are sent to specialists concerned such as cardiology and chest physicians,” said Dr Jyotsna Wig, head, Department of Anaesthesia.

“On an average, 17,000 new and follow-up patients are referred each year by surgical departments to the pre-anesthesia clinic. This clinic runs for six days a week,” she said.

“What we have seen over the years is that lack of understanding on anaesthesia among patients and the tendency to conceal their health problems for different reasons from anaesthetists have rooted myths in the general population about it,” said Dr SK Malhotra from the same department.

What patients need to know

* An anaesthesiologist remains with you during surgery and continuously monitors the functioning of your heart, lungs and kidneys with special electronic devices to tailor best possible anaesthetic plan for you.

* Risk of serious complications or death during anaesthesia is about the same as the risk when driving a vehicle or walking on the busy road. It is extremely unusual for healthy patients to have serious complications because of anaesthesia.

* The type of anaesthesia you receive will depend on the type of surgery, your medical condition, your choice and your surgeon’s preference. Your anaesthesiologist will discuss all options available and make a suggestion for the type(s) of anaesthesia best suitable for you.

* Often the phrase ‘allergy to anesthesia’ is used to describe the side effect from anaesthesia such as intense nausea, vomiting, agitation, double vision, sore muscles. These are not allergies but exaggerations of some of the common side effects of anaesthesia or surgery.

* All anaesthesia medications work when given in appropriate doses. However, each patients’ response to anaesthesia can be different and is related to age, weight, gender, degree of illness and personal habits like chronic use of alcohol or sleeping pills.

* Cardiac arrest can and does occur occasionally during anaesthesia, but it is rarely because of anaesthesia.

* It is extremely unlikely that you will be awake during general anaesthesia, but it is occasionally possible. There have been reports of patients who can recall events that occurred during the operation when they were apparently anesthetised.

* There is no scientific evidence to show that anaesthesia medications are toxic to the human brain.

* There is an increased risk of vomiting in particular patients like those who are obese, female patients and in those who have a prior history of vomiting after surgery. Special medications are given intraoperatively to reduce the risk of vomiting.



Prof Sham bags first prize for small garden
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
The Municipal Corporation today declared the results of the class F best garden in the city among the participants that had given entry for the Rose Festival.

The first prize among the best large gardens went to Air Cond. SK Indoria VM Wing House Brar Enclave Air Force Station, Chandigarh.

The first prize among the medium garden went to Rupinder Pal and Gurleen Singh Boparai, residents of Sector 15.

The first prize for small garden went to Professor Sham Kumar Thingnam, a resident of the PGI campus.

The first prize for terrace garden went to Suman Jain, a resident of Sector 20.



Students stress on road safety
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 19
Students of Chandigarh University, Gharuan, spread the social message of “safety is not expensive, it is priceless” among people through a street play staged for visitors at DT City Centre Mall, IT Park, Chandigarh.

Underlining the importance of following traffic rules, the students through their performance in the street play and choreography demonstrated various aspects that can be taken care of while driving on the road like wearing a helmet, following speed instructions, importance of seat belt and understanding traffic signs.

Simran, a student of Chandigarh University and director of the play, said they wanted to involve the audience, especially the youth, who comprised a majority of the victims of road accidents worldwide.

“Every three minutes, an Indian dies in a road accident. Indian roads witness one accident every minute, which makes our country most vulnerable in terms of road accidents,” said Shubam, another student who played the character of a traffic inspector in the play.

Promoting the concept of “youth for road safety”, the students at DT City Centre also conducted a quiz on traffic rules for the visitors.

Punjabi film actress Poonam Sood and actor Honey Shergill joined the students in promoting the cause of road safety.

Meanwhile, the students had prepared themselves for the opening of a three-day national-level CU Fest-2014 that would be inaugurated on February 20 at Chandigarh University, Gharuan campus, said Dr RS Bawa, Vice-Chancellor of the university. It would be inaugurated by Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil.



Legal awareness camp at agri summit
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 19
The District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), Mohali, organised a legal awareness camp during the Progressive Punjab Agriculture Summit at Chappar Chiri village.

Tarn Taran Singh Bindra, Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Secretary, DLSA, said the authority, on its application, was allotted a stall/counter at the summit by the state government as it wanted to target more and more people for spreading legal awareness.

Legal literature, containing eligibility criteria, mode of taking free legal aid, etc, were distributed among those who visited the stall. They were also shown related documentaries and posters.

People not only from Punjab but also from states like Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh showed interest in obtaining knowledge about policies of the National Legal Services Authority, which was extending its schemes throughout the country.

Besides staff of the District Legal Services Authority, lawyers connected with it also extended help in spreading awareness on all four days of the summit.

Bindra appealed to people to obtain knowledge of schemes of the Punjab Legal Services Authority, Chandigarh, so that they could exercise their legal rights.

He further said a toll-free helpline was available for people who could not personally come to any front office of the legal aid clinic. They could avail themselves of legal assistance by dialing 1968. This assistance was available 24X7. 



PU mulls grading system in colleges
If implemented, new system will cater to undergraduate students in affiliated colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Panjab University is mulling to introduce grading system for the undergraduate level in all colleges affiliated to the university from the next semester.

The proposal was raised in a sub-committee meeting held under the chairmanship of Dean University Instruction AK Bhandari here today.

The meeting was held to finalise the draft for the semester system in colleges, which will be implemented for the first year students of BA, B.Com and B.SC.

The meeting was later chaired by PU Controller of Examination (CoE) Dr Parvinder Singh.

Singh said the grading system should be introduced in the semester system as it would reduce re-evaluation by 50 per cent.

The meeting was also attended by the secretary, Higher Education, Punjab. The Director of Public Instructions (DPI), UT, also sent a communication to the university for the introduction of the semester system as he was not able to attend the meeting.

The sub-committee approved that the university should frame a policy wherein a student can apply for re-evaluation within 15 days on the basis of the result available on the internet.

Earlier, the university had a policy that after receiving the detailed marksheet, a student could apply for re-evaluation within 21 days.

The sub-committee was informed by the CoE that the Board of Studies had conducted a meeting of 50 departments and the draft for conducting exams and syllabus of the semester system had been finalised.

The official of Punjab further informed that the government would fill all vacant posts of teachers shortly. The sub-committee also approved the formation of an additional branch of assistant registrar for the semester system along with appointment of 47 employees to manage the entire system.


* Re-evaluation in 15 days

* No golden chance for semester students

n Appointment of 50 employees for semester system branch

n Introduction of grading system



Indian mathematics more advanced than Western world: Delhi University V-C
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
“Indian Mathematics has been far more developed and advanced than the Western world,” said Delhi University (DU), Vice-Chancellor Prof Dinesh Singh during a colloquium at Panjab University today.

Singh briefed the students on the topic ‘From the Indus valley to Srinivasa Ramanujan: A history of Indian Mathematics.’

The colloquium was organised in collaboration with the Society for Promotion of Science and Technology in India (SPSTI) and the PU Department of Mathematics.

Singh discussed the contribution and achievements of various Indian Mathematicians from 900 BC to 1920 AD.

“Vasco da Gama was an adventurer, not a navigator. His first voyage to India, dating back to 1497-1499, was successful with the help of his Indian navigator Kanha. Vasco da Gama and Kanha used an instrument called Kamal or Rapalagai to determine the latitude at sea. This instrument involved a harmonic scale with knots on a string to measure the angular elevation of the Pole Star above the horizon for measuring local latitude. This proves that Indian navigation was far more advanced.”

Meanwhile, another seminar was organised by SPSTI on ‘India in the 21st Century: The role of higher education.’

The speakers stressed on the role of higher education in the changing times and its role in India’s growth.

The speakers at the seminar included Professor Dinesh Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Delhi University, Professor Arun Kumar Grover, V-C of Panjab University and Professor N Sathyamurthy, Director, IISER, Mohali.

Prof Grover, said, “New changes need to be introduced in the higher education system.”

Prof Dinesh Singh emphasised on redefining the role of higher education.

Prof Satyamurthy discussed IISER’S initiative in training quality manpower in science to meet the challenges of the 21st Century, combining education and research.

On the sidelines of the seminar, Dharam Vir, former chief secretary, Haryana and president, SPSTI, said, “SPSTI will set up a museum of music systems in the city this year. It will also launch a mobile science laboratory which will take science at the doorsteps of schools in smaller towns and villages.”



Ex-PU student leaders to join SOI fold on Feb 26
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
To emerge victorious in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is trying to rope in youth voters of the city.

As per the poll strategy, top former student leaders of the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) and the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) have decided to join the Student Organisation of India (SOI), considered to be a SAD-backed student party on the campus.

SOI president Gurdit Singh Dhillon confirmed that five former student leaders will join the party fold on February 26 during a drug awareness programme on the campus.

“Bikramjit Singh Majithia, president of the Youth Akali Dal, will address students on the campus during which an announcement about the former student leaders joining the party fold will be made,” added Dhillon.

The former leaders of PUSU joining SOI are Simranjeet Singh Dhillon, former president; Dildeep Singh, former chairman, DAV College and Romi Dhaliwal. From SOPU, the leaders include Robin Brar and Vikramjeet Singh.

Sources said though all these leaders had never contested Panjab University elections, the candidates which they supported always won by a good margin.

Political analysts believe that SAD, through SOI, was trying to garner 25 per cent votes of city youth for the polls. They further stated that as all the leaders belonged to Punjab, the party’s campaigning drive would receive a boost in those areas.

Experts say the development would be a setback for the Congress in Panjab University. During the past elections, the Congress used to sensitise the voters through their student leaders.


Records have revealed that all five leaders of PUSU and SOPU were not associated with SOI during student unions’ elections in the past.



Police to sensitise students on online lottery fraud
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 19
In the wake of the Nigerian fake lottery fraud coming to the fore, the Panchkula Police have decided to start an awareness drive in schools and colleges to sensitise students from falling into such traps.

“We will start a special awareness programme to educate students of schools and colleges about the modus operandi adopted by miscreants in such scams,” said Commissioner of Police Ajay Singhal, adding that the programme will be conducted shortly.

Besides this, special arrangements have been made at the Police Control Room.

“We receive a lot of queries from people on how to protect themselves from online lottery frauds. If anybody wants to verify or inform about fake online offers, they can contact the in charge of the cyber crime cell. The public should inform us if they come across anything dubious,” added Singhal.

In a major breakthrough, the Panchkula Police cracked an online lottery scam last week, which later garnered national attention.

Two Nigerians and two women were arrested by the police in this regard.



PU adjudged best govt varsity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Panjab University (PU), has been adjudged as the best government university of the country by India’s Premier Apex Chamber, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover received the National Education Excellence Awards-2014 during a one-day National Conference on Excellence in Education in New Delhi today.

Rajya Sabha MP and Padma Vibhushan awardee Dr Karan Singh bestowed the award on PU on behalf of ASSOCHAM.

The function was organised to felicitate leading educational institutions, which had contributed significantly to improve the quality of education, innovation, research and development in the country.

Various universities and institutions etc were evaluated as per the criteria.



CCET staff protest with black badges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 19
Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET) employees union staged a silent protest by putting black badges on the college premises today.

The employees alleged that despite several reminders to the UT Administration or the college management to address their long-pending grievances, no action had been taken.

CCET Employees Union deputy senior president, Vikramjit Pawar, said, “Until the UT advisor doesn’t lend an ear to their woes, the employees will continue their silent protest by wearing black badges.”

He said, “Earlier, the union had given a resolution to the UT Administrator Shivraj Patil during a convention at the Rose Club on January 11 through the co-ordination committee of the government and civic body employees.”

The employees have demanded framing of a comprehensive and secure policy for regularisation of contractual and guest faculty and outsourcing staff as a one-time measure against sanctioned posts.

The union has also sought implementation of the labour laws and Acts, including Factories Act, Minimum Wages Act, Industrial Disputes Act and Worker Compensation Act, to provide benefits to the contractual labour through outsourcing to prevent victimisation and retrenchment in various departments under the purview of the Chandigarh Administration.

The union alleged that the irregular appointments in CCET were in violation of Articles 14, 16, 39(d) and 41 of the constitution by engaging them through contract, guest and outsourcing system against sanctioned posts where the work is of perennial nature in various departments under the purview of the UT Administration.



PU & colleges notes

Maths seminar at MCM DAV

The Department of Mathematics of MCM DAV College for Women, organised a national seminar on ‘Mathematics: Beyond classroom’ today. The seminar started with a keynote address by Professor Madhu Raka, Department of Mathematics, Panjab University, who deliberated upon ‘Information sciences: Applications in mathematics’. She discussed the uses of cryptography and coding theory and highlighted its practical applications.

Other delegates, including Dr SL Saini, discussed intuitive mathematics. Dr Tejwant Singh, PAU, Ludhiana, discussed the significance of mathematical modelling in science. An interactive session was also held and the students presented a PowerPoint presentation on the applications of mathematics.

Seminar on women empowerment

A two-day national seminar on ‘Women and development: Lessons from the past and agenda for the future’ concluded at ICSSR Complex today. The seminar was organised by the PU Department-cum-Centre for Women’s Studies and Development. Delivering the valedictory address, former chairperson, Department of Economics, Kurukshetra University, Professor Neera Verma, said, “If development is not engendered, it is endangered”. She stressed that gender inequalities were detrimental to development and suggested the adoption of a strategy involving 6 E’s —education, employment, entitlements, eradicating all forms of violence, ensuring health and empowerment. Earlier, chairperson of the Government of India Committee on Status of Women in India, Prof Pam Rajput, made a strong plea for including women in the development process and providing safe spaces for women within the household as well as in the public sphere.

Placement drive on Feb 26

Panchkula Engineering College (PEC), Barwala, will organise a one-day campaign - PEC’s mega placement drive - on February 26. More than 3,000 students from various colleges of North India will participate in the event. Major players such as Reliance, Ultra Tech, Tata Teleservices, Hero Group etc will take part in the campaign. College chairman Sarwan Gupta said, “As many as 15 blue chip companies will offer jobs to BTech and MBA students in the sectors of manufacturing, auto engineering, IT, FMCG and retail.” The highlight of the placement drive is that the companies will provide jobs in small towns. Students will not have to shift to Metro cities. Companies having vacancies in small towns are participating in the drive. — TNS



From schools

Inter-house final

Chandigarh: The final of the inter-house contest were held at Guru Nanak Khalsa Sr. Sec. School, Sector 30 B, here. The students of Sahibzada Ajit Singh House, Sahibzada Jujhar Singh House, Sahibzada Zorawar Singh House and Sahibzada Fateh Singh House took part in various competitions which included turban tying, shabad gayan, poem recitation, rangoli, slogan writing etc. Sahibzada Ajit Singh House was declared the best house of the session 2013-14.

Annual sports meet

The 3rd annual sports meet was conducted at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Karsan, here today. Kamlesh Kumar Badoo (DPI) inaugurated the meet. The students presented Gatka, Giddha and Taekwondo. As many as 40 track and field events were conducted during the programme. This was followed by a prize distribution function. Sky House bagged the over-all first prize. The Best Marching trophy was given to Earth House. Gobinder Singh and Panna Lal were the co-ordinators of the programme.

Spring time

The students of Ajit Karam Singh International Public School, Sector 45, were educated on the importance of spring. They were encouraged others and donate toys, clothes, stationery, books etc, for the needy.


Farewell function

A colourful programme ‘Sayonara’ was presented by the students of Class 11 to bid adieu to the outgoing students of Class 12 at Shishu Niketan today. Suchinta Khorana, director principal was the special guest on the occasion. The function commenced with a cultural programme. A competition to select Master and Miss Shishu Niketan was also held. Harsimran Singh Bedi and Sukhdeep Kaur and were chosen as Master and Miss Shishu Niketan, respectively. — TNS



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